Kenya moving towards total reliance on renewable energy & proposed coal plant does not make ecological & economic sense, says economist
Author: David Ndii, Daily Nation (Kenya), Published on: 19 June 2017
"Political economy of Lamu coal plant and why we don’t need it"
Do we need a 1,000MW coal power plant? Our installed electricity generating capacity is 2,325MW. This excludes 310MW capacity of the Lake Turkana wind plant, which is complete but is not connected to the grid because the government is yet to complete the transmission line...But when it comes to generation, geothermal leads. Geothermal accounted for 45 per cent of the electricity generated last year, followed by hydro at 40 per cent for a combined share of 85 per cent. The diesel plants did 15 per cent and wind less than one per cent...
We can say without fear of contradiction that even without the Lamu coal plant, generation capacity will continue to outpace demand for the next five years. There are two more important insights from this information. First, is that we are very close to being able to get all our electricity from renewable sources. When Turkana wind and the projects under construction are connected, we will most certainly be in a position to...To keep the coal plant running, it will have to displace geothermal capacity, which does not make business, economic or ecological sense. This means that the coal plant will most likely be idle. We will be renting a plant we are not using. Second, technical transmission and distribution losses are a function of distance. [refers to Lake Turkana Wind Power & Kengen)